Creating a botanical sketchbook

Event details

Tuesday 23 to Thursday 25 May 2017, 10.30am to 4pm
Venue: 
Kew Gardens
Price: 
Course fee: £210 (£180 concessions, Friends of Kew) 15 places available

Event overview

About the course

This three-day course will teach you how to keep a botanical sketchbook. A well-kept botanical sketchbook is an invaluable tool to record your plant drawings and field notes, colour studies, and written notes.

During class you will practise drawing and sketching from life, both indoors and outdoors, and learn how to capture multiple levels of information to help inform your botanical artwork, all while being inspired by the Gardens at Kew.


The tutor

Lucy T Smith is a freelance botanical artist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. She has received many awards for her work, including the 2004 Jill Smythies Award for Botanical Illustration, awarded by the Linnean Society of London. She won second prize in the Margaret Flockton Award for Scientific Illustration, at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney (2005), as well as Highly Commended awards in the 2005, 2006 and 2008 competitions. She has also received two Gold Medals from the Royal Horticultural Society. As well as her freelance work, Lucy also produces paintings for private commissions and exhibitions.


How to book

Please email adulted@kew.org with a contact telephone number or call 020 8332 5641

Download the Spring/Summer adult short course brochure

 

iPad art workshop

Event details

Tuesday 16 May 2017, 10.30am to 4.30pm
Venue: 
Kew Gardens
Price: 
Course fee: £70 (£60 concessions, Friends of Kew) 10 places available

Event overview

About the course

Combine technology and nature to produce interesting artwork on your own iPad®.  This one-day course explores the creative potential of the Brushes app using the plants, flowers, and breath-taking vistas of Kew Gardens to inspire you. Develop a range of techniques, including selecting and mixing colours, and creating effects such as charcoal, pastel, oil and pencil.

The tutor recommends that participants download the free Brushes Redux app, to their iPad® before the course.

*This is an independent course and has not been authorised, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc.
iPad® (mobile digital device) is a trademark of Apple Inc.iPad Art Workshop.


The tutor

Jan Lee Johnson BA Hons MA fine art, is a sessional tutor teaching on foundation, drawing and painting programmes. With much experience teaching drawing techniques with software and layers, iPad art is one of her passions.


How to book

Please email adulted@kew.org with a contact telephone number or call 020 8332 5641

Download the spring/summer 2017 short course brochure

Kingfisher and badger watching evening

Event details

Monday 8 May, Thursday 11 May, Monday 7 August and Thursday 10 August, 2017 from 5.30pm to 9.30pm
Venue: 
Loder Valley Nature Reserve
Price: 
Course fee: £30 Includes light snack midway through the evening 12 places available

Event overview

About the event

Enjoy an evening of nature watching as we observe kingfishers in their natural habitat from a specially build hide in the Loder Valley Nature Reserve. The reserve, dedicated to the conservation of the plants and animals of the Sussex Weald, is normally only accessible by permit.  These special evenings will be led by the warden. 

You'll also get the chance to see the residents of the badger sett as well as any other nocturnal wildlife which is out and about. Come with an open mind, though, as natural history inevitably presents an element of surprise! 

Please note: These evenings will involve a fair amount of walking of a moderately strenuous level which will include some steep inclines on muddy and slippery surfaces. Please note that cameras are not permitted as their use disturbs the wildlife we hope to be observing.


The tutor

Steven Robinson grew up in Sussex and from a young age was interested in natural history. He developed his knowledge further by working and living in the countryside and is now warden for the Loder Valley Reserve which forms part of the Wakehurst estate. He relishes having a job which gives him opportunity to expand his knowledge and is constantly amazed by the rich natural diversity that Sussex offers.


How to book

Please email adulted@kew.org with a contact telephone number or call 020 8332 5626

Download the spring/summer 2017 short course brochure

Related links

Kids' Kew

Buzz like a bee

The lights and sounds inside The Hive respond to the activity of real bees. Step inside and discover the secret life of bees

Travel the world in a day

From the tropics to the desert, go in search of bananas, cacti, giant waterlilies, waterfalls. How many continents can you find represented? Go to the Palm House or the Princess of Wales Conservatory.

See through the eyes of a bird

You can see for miles and miles from the Treetop Walkway. Through the branches of trees, see across the Gardens and into London.

Live like a badger

Explore the child-sized badger sett and learn how badgers live. Way too much fun for a little badger!

Log Trail

Balance, hop and skip your way across this natural play area set within woodland. Trees that have fallen in recent storms at Kew have found a new life here. Trees include are beech, ash, oak, eucalyptus and pine.

Climbers and Creepers 

Indoor play area suitable for children from 3 to 9 years. Children climb inside a plant to learn about pollination.

Treehouse Towers

Outdoor play area suitable for children from 3 to 11years. Climb up ladders, clamber across rope bridges and slide down from the three towers.

Rain, rain don't go away...

Wet weather's just the excuse for a well-deserved break in the cafe while the kids continue to adventure in the indoor - or outdoor - play areas. Climbers and Creepers, Treehouse Towers and White Peaks Café.


About title: 
Kids' Kew
Attractions & Events References: 
Treetop Walkway
The Hive
Princess of Wales Conservatory
Info Blocks: 

Buzz like a bee

The lights and sounds inside The Hive respond to the activity of real bees. Step inside and discover the secret life of bees.

The Hive at Kew Gardens

Live like a badger

Children can become a badger for the day in Kew's child-sized bager sett, in the Conservation Area. Look out for the wooden sculpture of a reclining badger!

Badger sett at Kew

See through the eyes of a bird

You can see for miles and miles from the Treetop Walkway. Through the branches of trees, see across the Gardens and into London. 

Up in the tree canopy on the Treetop Walkway at Kew

Tropical Important Plant Areas in the British Virgin Islands (BVI TIPAs)

Kew is working in partnership with The National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands (NPTVI) on a two-year project to identify and map TIPAs in BVI. Scientifically robust data from field surveys and herbarium specimens are being used to identify populations of the most threatened plant species, areas of exceptional botanical richness and threatened habitats in BVI.

Kew is working in partnership with The National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands (NPTVI) on a two-year project to identify and map TIPAs in BVI. Scientifically robust data from field surveys and herbarium specimens are being used to identify populations of the most threatened plant species, areas of exceptional botanical richness and threatened habitats in BVI.

Moomin Adventures – fun for all the family at Kew this Easter

Event details

Saturday 1 April – Monday 17 April, 10.30am to 4pm daily
Price: 

Included with entry to the Gardens

Event overview

This Easter, experience the wonderful world of the Moomins with exciting family-friendly activities and events. Explore the hidden depths of the Gardens on an interactive trail culminating at the magical Moomin Festival Camp in the wild woodland of the Natural Area. Take part in craft workshops while you sample the Moomins’ beloved pancakes and visit the Hemulens’ Herbarium to find out more about your favourite spring flowers and plant conservation.

Originally created in the 1940s, the Moomins are a family of adventurous and nature-loving creatures from the culturally iconic storybooks by Finnish writer and artist Tove Jansson.

In place of the Easter Sunday Easter Egg Hunt, this year we’ll be giving away delicious Lindt chocolate treats at the gates on Easter Sunday.

 

What's on:

 

Moomin Adventures Easter trail

Pick up a Moomin newspaper at the gates and follow the trail around the Gardens on a quest to help Hemulen find his missing plants.

Saturday 1 April – Monday 17 April, 10.30am to 4pm daily

 

Moomin Adventures craft workshops

Family-friendly crafts and activities in the magical Moomin Camp set amongst the wild woodland of Kew’s Natural Area.

Saturday 1 April – Monday 17 April, 10.30am to 4pm daily

 

Admission to Moomin Adventures is included with day entry to the Gardens. 

Save on the price of your ticket when you book online

 

Images © Moomin Characters ™

Badger watching

Event details

Tuesday evenings from 11 April until 5 September, times vary depending on time of year.
Venue: 
Wakehurst
Price: 
Adults: £12, children: £6

Event overview

Our weekly escorted tours run during the badger-watching season from April to September. The purpose-built hide in the Loder Valley Reserve gives you the chance to get up close to the badgers in their natural habitat without disturbing them. 

Session times

  • In April and September tours set off at 7pm
  • In May, June, July and August tours set off at 7.30pm
  • Tours end when the badgers depart from the sett, or at 10pm at the latest

Book a tour

PDF icon Badger-booking-form-2017.pdf

Please complete the booking form and return, with payment, to Administration, Wakehurst, Selsfield Road Ardingly RH17 6TN.

Download an information sheet on badger watching in the Loder Valley Reserve

For more information please call 01444 894067.

 

Related links

British Artists in the Shirley Sherwood Collection

Event details

25 March to 17 September 2017, 10am to 5.30pm
Venue: 
Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art
Price: 
Included with entry to the Gardens

Event overview

 

British Artists in the Shirley Sherwood Collection

Dr Shirley Sherwood has been collecting British botanical art since 1990 when a dramatic watercolour of Laelia tenebrosa by Pandora Sellars caught her eye. Impressed by the quality of Pandora's work, Dr Sherwood went on to commission many British artists to paint studies of favourite plants such as fritillaries, cowslips and lapageria. Her vast collection of botanical art contains 330 works by 86 British botanical painters, of which a proportion is showcased in this exhibition. Botanical artists such as Brigid Edwards, Coral Guest, Rory McEwen, Rosie Sanders, Pandora Sellars and Graham Rust have been carefully chosen to showcase British talent.

The exhibition also highlights the sometimes changing style and approach of botanical artists, through experimentation with medium and scale.

Dr Sherwood’s enthusiasm for British botanical art continues to this day and she is still collecting botanical work in Britain, and the rest of the world.


Joseph Hooker

A separate exhibition on the Victorian scientist, Joseph Hooker, will run concurrently in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art. The exhibition will show a selection of his photographs, journals and paintings.

Joseph Hooker: Putting plants in their place


Tours and talks taking place during the exhibitions


Gallery tour by Dr Shirley Sherwood – Wednesday 5 April 2017, 2.30pm

More about Dr Sherwood's gallery tour
 

Exhibition tour of Sir Joseph Hooker: Putting plants in their place – Thursday 27 April 2017, 12 noon

More about the tour of the exhibition
 

Conservator's talk – Thursday 18 May 2017, 12 noon

More about the conservator's talk
 

  • Tours are free but booking is essential as places are limited
  • Please call 020 8332 3622 to book a place

Admission to the British Artists in the Shirley Sherwood Collection exhibition is included with day entry to the Gardens. 

Save on the price of your ticket when you book online

 

Pen and ink workshop

Event details

Saturday 25 to Sunday 26 March 2017, 10.30am to 4pm
Venue: 
Museum No. 1
Price: 
Course fee: £150 (£130 concessions, Friends of Kew) 15 places available

Event overview

A two day course where you can learn how to master line drawing in pen and ink, a useful skill for botanical illustrators. During the course you'll work with dip pens and black ink on paper using various methods of creating form. You'll be introduced to stipple, hatching and variation of line. We will use these methods to work on botanical subjects which will be drawn in pencil first, then transferred to final paper.  The tutor will provide dip pens and black ink for participants.

The course is suitable for students of all abilities — beginners welcome.

The tutor

Penny Price is a botanical artist, having initially trained as a teacher and then as a professional lettering artist. Having painted all her life, she decided to become more specialised in the art of botanical painting and trained for the Diploma in Botanical Art and Illustration (EGS) gaining a distinction in 2013 at Chelsea.  She was awarded a Silver Gilt medal by the Royal Horticultural Society in 2014. She presently teaches part time at the Chelsea School of Botanical Art and runs courses in Cambridge University Botanic Garden. She is an artist member of three Florilegium Societies, including one in Sydney, Australia where she has also exhibited her work. Her mission is to help others achieve pleasure and skills in the art of botanical painting.

How to book

Please email adulted@kew.org with a contact telephone number or call 020 8332 5641

Download the Spring/Summer adult short course brochure

 

Woodlands of the world

For over 150 years, Wakehurst's woodlands evolved by collecting. Ornamental plantings and exotic tree collections in amongst native woodland, generally English oak. There was a rich and mature collection of trees and shrubs, but completely random.

During 1960s and 1970s trees and shrubs were grouped according to the areas of the world in which they grew – a phytogeographic system. In the great storm of October 1987, Wakehurst lost about 15,000 trees.

While it was a great loss we have since created a series of tree collections which are more scientifically important, more attractive to visitors and more relevant to Kew's emphasis on conservation and education. 

Horsebridge Wood

This is a fabulous journey through North America – with no need for your passport. 

This wood is a perfect example of phytogeographic planting. Phyto – means plant and geographical means that the trees are planted according to where they grow naturally. North America is a huge continent so habitats vary significantly and our planting reflects this. The trees are set out by regions so as you walk from Westwood Lake toward the Millennium Seed Bank, you pass first through trees from the east coast of the USA and Canada, then on through trees from California to the Pacific west coast and Rocky Mountains. 

Each region has a distinct flora, so the east coast or Appalachian region is dominated by deciduous trees. Here you can experience the colours of 'fall', with trees such as sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) and hickory (Carya tomentosa) bringing this area alive with colour in October. These trees are the subject of many Native American stories, and they are essential for the survival of many native animals. This is celebrated in the Talking Totems, a natural play space where children can play and learn. 

Further into the wood the vegetation changes to coniferous woodland and the plants are those of the Californian region, which enjoys a Mediterranean climate. 

If you continue you will reach the Pacific coastal conifer forest of the Vancouver region, dominated by stately redwoods, hemlocks and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). 

This is a relaxing area to walk especially with sunlight filtering through the branches.

Coates Wood

It is named after Wakehurst's former head gardener Alfred Coates and was first opened to the public in 1977. 

The wood was one of the areas worst affected by the great storm of 1987, with lots of fine specimens uprooted. However, after the huge clear up a whole swathe of new trees originating from the southern hemisphere were planted, following Wakehurst’s geographic planting system.  A shelter belt of trees was also planted around the edge of Coates Wood to protect the more delicate trees if really high winds should strike again. This shield comprises of oak, pine and yew. 

If you enter from Bethlehem Wood you will arrive in the woodlands of Australia and New Zealand. You will spot Eucalyptus, a grove of Wollemi pine (Wollemia nobillis) and southern beech (Nothofagus). The southern beech (Nothofagus) is a distant cousin of our native beech (Fagus sylvatica), but is exclusive to the southern hemisphere. At Wakehurst we have the National Collection of Nothofagus.

The wood is horseshoe shaped and as you move through you will pass into the trees of South America including Fizroya cupressoides, a conifer named for Captain Fitzroy, commander of the HMS Beagle on Charles Darwin’s first voyage around South America. Known as Alerce, it is South America’s largest tree. It is an endangered species and it is now illegal to trade in its wood. A shipment impounded by HMS Customs and Excise was donated to Kew to build the Field Study Centre in Westwood Valley, which is used for school visits. 

Plants to look out for include Eucryphia, Drimys and Lomatia. All of these shrubs have pretty flowers, making Coates Wood a fabulous place to walk. And there are some fabulous views across Bloomers Valley and the summer colours of the wildflower meadow below. 

Bloomers Valley

This narrow valley lies between Horsebridge Wood and Bethlehem Wood. 

It is deliberately not planted with trees so visitors can experience beautiful open views, from high up in Coates Wood, and looking north northeast from Horsebridge Wood. 

During WWII the area was ploughed for vegetable production. Over the last 10 years it has become a carefully managed wildflower meadow. The wildflowers already present have been mixed with other native wildflower species from Kent and Sussex. These have been raised in the Wakehurst nurseries before being planted out. 

The meadow also contains some rare species of wild flower such dyers greenweed (Genista tinctoria) and saw-wort (Serratula tinctoria).

Rock Walk

The Rock Walk leads visitors along the bottom of a series of low cliffs of Ardingly Sandstone that trace the side of Bloomer’s Valley. 

The geology of this part of the High Weald dates back 140 million years to the Early Cretaceous period, when rivers deposited beds of sand and clay. The area was later covered by the Tethys Sea, which laid down more sand and clay, topped by a layer of chalk limestone.

After many phases of sea retreats and land movements, southeast England rose up to form a huge dome that stretched from the North Downs to France. These land movements were related to the development of the Alps. Over time, weathering cut away the chalk to leave behind the inland sandstone cliffs we see today. Mostly made of Ardingly Sandstone, in places they reach 15 metres high.

Bethlehem Wood

This is a stunning wood to walk through and is close to the Millennium Seed Bank. It is home to the National Collection of birches (Betula) which are native to the northern hemisphere, where they colonise clearings and newly opened habitats as well as regions where larger trees can’t survive, such as the arctic tundra. 

There are some tundra species that are extremely difficult to cultivate at Wakehurst as warm winters and late frosts can kill the young foliage. However, a wide range of the birch species grow really well here and this collection is one of Britain’s finest. These trees are beautiful at any time of the year – their coloured bark glows in the winter sunlight, while their delicate leaves provide dappled shade through the summer months. Towards autumn many of the American species turn a rich yellow creating a magical canopy under which to walk. 

You can see the wide variety of species at close hand throughout the year by following the birch trail, mowed into the grass through the collection. The colour of the bark can vary dramatically with each species, so botanists use the differences in the flowers and leaves to distinguish between variants. The trees are set out geographically, so each section of Bethlehem Wood has birches from a different part of the northern hemisphere.

Westwood Valley

The Westwood Valley, a steep ravine running from the Water Gardens to Westwood Lake, is home to Wakehurst's collection of Asian plants.

Westwood Valley represents the landscape of the eastern Himalayas below the tree-line, with semi-evergreen forests of rhododendrons, laurels, maples, alders, oaks, birches, rowan and conifers. 

Plants from this region of the world have long fascinated gardeners, because the choicest species of many genera grow there. They are often those with the showiest flowers, most vibrant autumn colours or most interesting bark. 

Westwood Valley’s cool and moist conditions enable many Asian species to thrive in the Sussex Weald.

Pinetum

Wakehurst’s Pinetum lies to the northeast of the Himalayan Glade. The name ‘pinetum’ is given to a collection of conifers.

Wakehurst’s Pinetum was originally developed by Gerald Loder, who first planted conifers on the southern side of the estate, then extended his collection to the northeast of the Himalayan Glade in the 1920s, where it evolved under the care and influence of Kew.

Sadly about 80% of the mature trees in the Pinetum perished in the great storm of 1987. Since then we have planted in a geographic system, with trees from the same regions grouped together. 

Conifers dominate the world as a tree species. Huge areas of the northern hemisphere in Asia and North America are home to conifers, with several species only found in the southern hemisphere. 

While walking through the Pinetum you will see the Wollemi pine (Wollemia nobillis) and Podocarpus from Australia, and Taiwania and Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria) from Taiwan and Korea. 

One large specimen of Cryptomeria japonica has a carving of sika deer stag’s head set in its trunk. This traditional style of carving called Tachigibori has been practised in Japan for centuries. The trunk of a living tree is carved to a design, but the bark is allowed to slowly enclose the carving to show the passage of time. This carving was expertly completed by artist Masa Suzuki in 2013 as part of a Japanese-British collaboration, into a tree that damaged by the 1987 storm. 

As you walk through the Pinetum you may come across an underground communication station. During WWII, Wakehurst was home to the 1st Canadian Corps. This underground station allowed them to communicate with resistance forces in France. 

 

 

About title: 
About Wakehurst's woodlands

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